PW999 E Bedford & Co.
5-plank open wagon.
Dark green with white lettering shaded black.
Includes removable 'coal' load.


Back in the railway heyday of the Victorian and Edwardian era, every town and village had its station, and every station had its coal sidings where the local coal merchants set up shop. Wagonloads of house coal would come in from the collieries and get laboriously shovelled into staithes, bagged up and weighed. Then the sacks would be stacked up on the back of a horse-drawn cart and clip-clopped round to the customer. The collieries who supplied the coal would send it in their own wagon, for a price, but if you were a coal merchant getting wagonloads on a regular basis then it was much more cost-effective in the long run to fork out for a wagon of your own. Not only did you save money, but you made yourself look like a big-time outfit by having your name painted on the side of a railway wagon. Real big-time outfits had hundreds of wagons, of course, whereas the countless local family firms like E Bedford & Co just had a handful. By the time the 20th century was getting into its stride, low-capacity 5-plank wagons like Bedford's were beginning to look distinctly old-fashioned, but the smaller merchants stuck with them well into the 1920s and 30s. Time caught up with them in the end though, like it caught up with local coal merchants and steam railways and everything else, but you can turn back the clock on your layout with one of our E Bedford & Co open wagons.

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